Wednesday, July 27, 2005

DC Collection Is Complete!

With the recent acquisition of New Adventures 26, UK collector Ian Levine has completed his quest to collect every DC comic ever published. To keep the title, Ian continues to buy every DC comic published every week.

Congrats to Ian on a notable achievement! Here are some pics...

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Death of the Monthly Pamphlet?

Will the monthly comic book go the way of the Dodo? Are the publishers pushing us in that direction with the availability of inexpensive and comprehensive trade paperback reprints? Is it all part of a master plan to phase out monthlies?

Here is an interesting thread on this subject on the STL Comics message board.

Monday, July 18, 2005

Would Spider-Man Have Been Popular in 1938?

Recently on the CGC Message Boards, someone asked, "What if Amazing Fantasy #15, the first appearance of Spider-Man, had come out in 1938?" (At the same time Action Comics #1 was published -- the first appearance of Superman.)

An interesting topic... and here is what I wrote:

A significant part of the great appeal of Spider-Man is that he shared with teens from that era (the 1960s) many of the same problems -- insecurity, dating problems, bullying, not-belonging, etc. Peter Parker had a body supercharged with special powers, but his mind was still that of an everyteen underdog who was wracked with misplaced guilt and a devotion to an elderly aunt.

Would the culture of the late 30s have identified and cared about Peter's problemed psyche? Just a guess, but probably not.

The teens of the late 30s had recently emerged from the Great Depression and the storm clouds of world war were amassing on the horizon. They were not so introspective as to be able to easily identify with Peter Parker. Their problems were much more serious than getting marble-mouthed around Betty Brant; they had problems like worrying about how much food was going to be on the table, and were the relatives back in the "old country" okay.

And for every reason why Spider-Man -- a precursor to the "me" generation -- would have failed in 1938, Superman succeeded. They wanted a hero that was a "super" MAN, not a confused boy. Superman didn't have problems of his own, he solved other people's problems. He was the ultimate symbol of hope for better times -- an infallible champion of truth and justice.

It's no coincidence that when Spider-Man gained massive popularity, the times were very different and it coincided with the nadir of Superman's popularity.

These are 2 characters imbued with very different appeals, each custom fit to the era in which they were created.

Friday, July 15, 2005

Superman vs. Nazis

The book I've been waiting for finally arrived! After completing my Fantastic Four run earlier in the year, my next focus will be on some Golden Age Superman books, and I'm kicking it off with this one...

Action Comics #53, October 1942

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I'm going to concentrate on WWII covers. Typically these books are pricey, but still affordable in midgrades. So, I will look for books in the 4.0 - 7.0 range with nice eye appeal and decent paper quality.

I'm pleased with this book -- even though two small color flecks came off (above the DC logo and behind the soldier's knee on the right edge) as I was carefully examining it. The paper isn't brittle or weak, so this surprised me a bit.

Structurally the book is very sound and it has no creases. It suffers only from minor edgewear, corner wear and light dust shadows on the front and back cover.

I bought this as a Fine (6.0), and I think it's close. What do you think?

Thursday, July 14, 2005

The Waiting is the Hardest Part

I arrived home yesterday to find a FedEx "we were here" thingy hanging off my front door. The waiting is driving me crazy. Hopefully my present to myself will be there when I get home today.

To pass the time, here's a hint of things to come...

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I bought this in the early 90s from Vincent's Collectibles (now Vincent Zurzolo of Metropolis.) I always enjoyed chatting with Vincent in those early days when he did small local shows on Long Island. He was usually the best dealer in the room. He got a fair share of my collecting dollars back then.

I had a yen for a Golden Age Action/Superman on that day back in 1992 or 1993. Now, I wish I had pursued GA more vigorously at the time when prices were so much less.

This book is structurally in great shape with almost white pages. Other than the minor staple tears and the rodent chew on the lower right corner, it presents very well.

What is it with rat chews on books from the 40s? Were there that many more rats back then? You almost never see this type of damage on books from the mid-50s on. Storage conditions in the 50s and 60s couldn't have been that much better than the 40s... it's not like they were bagging and boarding them in 1958, yet you rarely see rodent damage from that era.


Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Still Waiting...

I'm still waiting for the item I mentioned in the previous post. What is the saying? Something about a watched pot never boiling...

Anyway, this is a signed photo that I recently completed when I received it back from Al White. I was working on this for quite a while... I call it the X-15 signature sheet. It contains all of the living X-15 Pilots except Neil Armstrong, plus drops pilots. Sadly, William "Pete" Knight has passed since signing this page.

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Monday, July 04, 2005

Off The Dole...

Well, I have finally accepted a job offer and will begin my new job as a Marketing Director for a small business association tomorrow.

After getting "reduced in force" along with 5,499 other colleagues of Marsh & McLennan last November, the past 7 months have been a very stressful and humbling learning experience.

But, I stuck to my guns, wouldn't let the experience break me, wouldn't give in and settle for a lot less than I'm worth, and I have finally found what appears to be a challenging position in a company that believes in attracting and paying talent well. (I've learned that all companies want talent, but few are willing to pay for it.)

So, I rewarded myself with my first notable comic purchase in 7 months. When it arrives, I will share.